Blizzard ready to storm the basepaths

North Island team back in action after a four-year hiatus

NOLAN BADOVINAC DELIVERS to the dish during recent North Island Blizzard action.

NOLAN BADOVINAC DELIVERS to the dish during recent North Island Blizzard action.

After a four-year hiatus, the North Island Blizzard baseball club is back in business.

The BC Minor-sanctioned Bantam AAA club is sponsored by the Comox Valley Baseball Association and is a cooperative effort of five associations on the North Island and the Parksville Royals baseball club of the BC Premier Baseball League.

The team plays in a provincial league of 15 teams, with each team playing upwards of 50 games in their season including a full interlock schedule, exhibition and tournament games.  Home games are spread throughout the region to showcase these young players.

The geographic challenge is a tough one for all baseball players on the North Island at this advanced level of play.  These regional teams draw players from Port Alberni, Oceanside, Comox Valley, Powell River and Campbell River.

The 2012 Blizzard players include Nolan Badovinac and Dean Leyland from Port Alberni, Hayden Scheck, Liam Nijhoff, Liam Janzen, Adam McKillican and William Drewry from the Comox Valley and  Braxten Barnes, Ethan Fox, Jacob Ingersoll, Jaret Knowles, Austin Simper, Zach Senay and Chris Vlaj from Campbell River.

The Blizzard are ably coached by former junior national team member/Royals alum Ryan Chenard of Campbell River.  He is joined by Lee McKillican and Jared Hendry of Comox and Todd Barnes of Campbell River.  The team got off to a slow start, but have come alive mid-season to post five wins in their last nine games.

This past weekend, the Blizzard travelled to the Lower Mainland for four games of baseball.  First up was Aldergrove which the Blizzard dispatched in two straight.  Nolan Badovinac fanned nine batters in a 9-5 win with Liam Janzen closing out the game. In the second game of the doubleheader, Adam McKillican and Austin Simper led the pitching staff to the  6-5 win.    Offensively, Dean Leyland, Jacob Ingersoll, Janzen and McKillican had the hot bats. Unfortunately the boys dropped two games in Abbotsford on Sunday, losing  14-5 and 10-0.

The Blizzard return to the North Island with a twin bill in Campbell River on Saturday, June 16.  Game time at Nunns Creek Park is 2 p.m. On Saturday, June 23, the Blizz boys host Richmond at Bill Moore Memorial Park in Courtenay at 1 p.m, and Victoria on Sunday the 24th at 3 p.m. “Come on down to the park, root for the local team, enjoy a hotdog and watch some great baseball!” the spokesperson said.

SHORT HOPS The 2012 Blizzard thank the valuable contributions of the following organizations and businesses: Superior Propane, Quality Foods, PBL Parksville Royals, Comox Valley Lions Club, Fox’s Disposal, Beaver Harbour/All Store Mini Storage, PetroCan, Aero Art and Prostock Athletic Supply …

– North Island Blizzard